Dental Dictionary



An infection originating from the root or nerve of the tooth, which causes a swelling in the gums.


A medication given to help fight bacterial infections in the mouth.


An agent used to cause temporary loss of sensation and feeling.


The lowest point in the tooth where the never exists into the jawbone.


A type of x-ray used to detect dental decay and cavities.


The process used to achieve teeth whitening.


The process of teeth grinding.

Canker sore

An ulceration caused by trauma, spicy foods or herpes simplex virus.


The term used to describe dental decay.


The cavitation or hole created by dental decay.


A white resin material used to fill a tooth once the bacteria and decay have been removed.


A crown is like a "cap" on a tooth used to protect the tooth either after a large filling or root canal. When too much tooth structure has been removed to complete a large filling, a crown prevents the tooth from breaking during pressure applied by normal chewing forces. A crown is also required after a root canal to prevent re-infection of the tooth.


The rotten part of a tooth, caused by bacterial growth.


The process of applying a medicament to reduce sensitivity on a tooth.


A direction away from the middle of the jaw.


The second layer in a tooth, located below the enamel but above the pulp or nerves.


The outermost layer in a tooth, which covers the dentin and pulp/nerves. This is the region most affected during tooth whitening.


A specific field in dentistry involving the treatment of dental pulp (the region where nerves and blood vessels reside in the tooth).


The process of removing the rotten part of a tooth and restoring the area with a tooth-colored material.


A naturally occurring mineral used to strengthen teeth and prevent cavities. The ADA recommends the application of fluoride every three to six months for those with a moderate to high risk of dental cavities.


The mildest form of gum disease causing inflammation of gum. The earliest sign is bleeding gum.


A condition where a tooth is unable to grow in normally or is stuck underneath gum tissue or bone.


A “screw-like” device placed in the jaw bone to support a false tooth in areas where teeth are missing.


The process of taking a mold of the mouth using a tray and paste material.


The space between two adjacent teeth.


A direction towards the middle of the jaw.


A device to be worn in the mouth. Used to prevents injury to teeth and/or jaw during sports activities.


A device to be worn in the mouth. Used to prevents injury to teeth and/or jaw during teeth grinding.


The way how the upper and lower teeth close together.


A specific field in dentistry which involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of bite abnormalities or facial irregularities.

Panoramic Radiograph

An x-ray film used to obtain the wide view of the upper and lower jaw and their associated structures.


A type of material used to make the crown of a tooth. A shade is selected to match the porcelain with a patients natural tooth color.


A go-between cleaner used to remove dental plaque from areas between the teeth most often missed with toothbrushing alone.


A process to make the tooth or filling smooth and glossy.


An approval from the insurance company before any dental treatment is started.


Medication needing to be taken before dental treatment.

Periodontal Disease

The aggressive form of gum disease causing inflammation of gum, loss of attachment, and bone loss around the surrounding teeth. Treatment often requires deep cleaning and irrigation, with possible antibiotic supplementation


An x-ray picture of your teeth.


The regular checkup and teeth cleaning appointment which is recommended by the American Dental Association to occur every 6 months.

Root canal

The canal that runs inside the root of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels.

Root canal treatment (RCT)

A treatment used to clean the infection that has infiltrated the nerve and sometimes the jawbone. It is performed to in order to increase the longevity of a deeply infected tooth.


A thin resin film that is painted onto the grooves and pits of a tooth to help prevent a cavity from forming. It is most commonly placed on the teeth in the back of your mouth utilized for chewing.


The use of medication, sometimes in the form of a pill, to help relieve anxiety.

Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ)

The joint that links the two parts of the jaw together.


A layer of tooth-colored material (can be porcelain, composite, or ceramics) that attaches to the front of the tooth. It is usually used to improve the appearance of the tooth.


The process of changing the color of your enamel, through the use of bleaching agents, for aesthetics.

Wisdom tooth

The eight tooth in the back of your mouth, when counting from the middle (midline). Often times people have wisdom teeth that never grow through the jawbone or partially grow through the jaw bone. This can cause pain, discomfort, and build up of bacteria. 


A medical condition also known as dry mouth.

New York Office

Monday:   10:00am - 7:00pm
Tuesday:   10:00am - 7:00pm
Wednesday:  10:00am - 7:00pm
Thursday:   10:00am - 7:00pm
   Friday:   10:00am- 7:00pm
Saturday:   Closed
Sunday:   Closed

Washington DC Office

Monday:   8:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday:   8:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday:   8:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday:   8:00am - 6:00pm
Friday:   8:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday:   10:00am - 3:00pm
Sunday:   Closed

Lennox Hill Office

Monday:   9:30am - 7:00pm
Tuesday:   9:30am - 7:00pm
Wednesday:  9:30am - 7:00pm
Thursday:   9:30am - 7:00pm
   Friday:   9:30am- 7:00pm
Saturday:   Closed
Sunday:   Closed